The Bridge Hotel is a substantial category ‘B’ listed property situated in a most prominent trading position central to the popular Highland village of Helmsdale. The business dates from circa 1816 and has been developed into a modern hotel, bar and restaurant style business. Since the completion of the infrastructure and decorative redevelopment of the business and after a period of trading, it has ceased operating due to other business commitments of the owner. However, the hotel in its present configuration would easily lend itself to being brought back into use as a high-end hotel or guest house. There is also scope to develop a number other business trading elements to supplement the traditional income streams of a hotel such as retail, visitor centre etc. There is little doubt that such a business would generate year-round trade but could be equally viable as a seasonal entity benefitting from the surge in tourism between Easter and October. The Hotel has historically been a hunting and fishing establishment and these field sports would generate a degree of trading in the future. However, with the use of portal websites marketing the accommodation aspects of the business, trade would flourish drawing in a wide range of clientele taking advantage of those working and holidaying in the Northern Highlands.
Internally the premises are presented mainly to a high level of decorative order. The feature Caithness flagstone flooring and classic wood paneling demonstrate the commitment by the current owner to preserve the character and charm of this splendid property. The plentiful public rooms provide new owners with an opportunity to introduce an array of additional services and facilities. The well-laid out customer areas are supplemented by an array of service facilities and well-appointed support rooms. These combined with 19 excellent en-suite letting bedrooms plus flexible owners/staff accommodation combine to make an outstanding business development prospect. The sale has been priced to reflect the non-trading aspects of the sale and taking into consideration the lack of the full range of fixtures and fittings. Any prospective purchaser will need to consider fitting out the hotel. However, a positive aspect of the sale is that the infrastructure elements (electrics / boilers etc.) were recently installed.
The property built circa 1816 is of traditional stone construction under a mainly pitched slate roof. Accommodation is arranged over three floors. From a prominent roadside position central to the village, the premises have easy street level access with two main entrances to the trading areas. The property has views to country-side.
All the trading areas of the property have been recently fully refurbished and are well-presented throughout. A most attractive feature of this sale is the slate floor which is prevalent throughout the ground floor public areas. This coupled with extensive wooden paneling, reception desk, bar and staircase all add an air of grace and grandeur seldom seen in a property of this stature. Upon entry via the main entrance guests are presented with a spacious reception area with an open fire place. In addition there is a well-constructed wooden reception desk with an office to the rear. From the reception area an opulent wooden staircase leads to the upper floors. From the reception area access can be gained to the main dining room which benefits from excellent natural lighting from windows set to the front of the property. The dining room can comfortably seat 50 covers with a private dining area to seat an additional 26 diners. Through the other side of the reception area is a suite of rooms; one of which is fitted out for use as a lounge bar with two others that could be used for a range of customer service or other applications. Through a corridor leading from the reception to the rear of the property finds a function room with access to the garden grounds via patio doors. This spacious room could comfortably accommodate a seated function of 60 guests. There is a further function room / residents lounge on the first floor with a charming fireplace and excellent period features; this characterful room has a splendid wooden floor. The aforementioned trading areas could be reconfigured into a variety of uses such as retail, health or service rooms. Throughout the Hotel there is a number of guest wash rooms which are presented in excellent order.
The premises are well laid out to support a high level of turnover. There is a commercial kitchen with an extractor fan and a number of appliances but there will be a requirement for refitting out if it is to be brought back into full use. The quality of décor, electrical fittings and flooring is such that any refit would be a fairly straight forward matter. The still room / sweet preparation room is finished to a similar high standard. A pot wash room and an adjoining laundry area is set off the kitchen. There is a wide range of store rooms and a beer cellar. On the first floor there is a large linen store and an adjoining office.
The Hotel has 19 en-suite bedrooms as detailed below. The majority of rooms have baths with showerhead units. Bathrooms are all presented in excellent condition being fully tiled with modern suites. The rooms are in generally good decorative order. The two rooms on the ground floor provide excellent accessibility for less abled guests with Room 1 being fully fitted out for disabled guests.
Room 1 - twin or double en-suite shower room
Room 2 - twin or double en-suite walk-in shower room (disabled).
Room 3 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 4 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 5 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 6 - twin or double en-suite shower room
Room 7 - twin or double with lounge plus en-suite bathroom
Room 8 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 9 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 10 - family room en-suite bathroom
Room 11 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 12 - single en-suite shower room
Room 14 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 15 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 16 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 17 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 18 - twin or double en-suite shower room
Room 19 - twin or double en-suite bathroom
Room 20 - twin or double en-suite shower room
The business is a substantial property with a large footprint and prominent roadside frontage. The business has an area of private garden, mainly laid to lawn, surrounded by a high wall offering a high degree of privacy. Within the rear aspects is a parking area for guest use; there is also additional on-road parking with a public car park close by.
The subjects are connected to mains electricity, water and drainage. LPG gas is required for cooking. The property benefits from oil-fired central heating with twin boilers.
Number of bedrooms: 5
The owner’s / staff accommodation is an excellent feature of this property. There are two separate suites of rooms, both being located on the top floor. One unit has three rooms with a family bathroom; the other has two rooms with a family shower room. All rooms and bathrooms are presented to a high level of décor. New owners could utilise the accommodation as it presently stands or use it for staff accommodation.
Helmsdale is a Sutherland coastal village steeped in history and with a strong maritime tradition. The village boasts a good level of local amenities for both visitors and residents. The area has an association with Viking history and attracts a great many tourists. The area is renowned for its gold panning at Kildonan and the Timespan visitor attraction within the village depicts the regions diverse history. The village has approximately 750 inhabitants and is one of the main centres of population in Sutherland. It also has an excellent links golf course and is in easy reach of the famous course at Royal Dornoch which lies to the south. The region is also renowned for its whisky production, with distilleries in Brora, Wick and Tain. Slightly further afield the Falls of Shin and Dunrobin Castle provide for an interesting day out. Touring and genealogy are other favourite pastimes, together with the prospect to visit nearby Scottish castles and other historic sites. These attractions combined with the varied natural scenic beauty of the surrounding area make it highly popular with a wide range of visitors and tourists.
For the outdoor enthusiast the Highlands of Scotland are famous for spectacular scenery and rugged mountains, a reputation which is comfortably upheld by Helmsdale. The wonderful unspoilt scenery of the famous coast line and surrounding hills combine to make this a most attractive area. The region draws in a high customer footfall from visitors which would generate a potential customer base for the business in the summer months as there is no shortage of opportunities in the immediate area for holiday makers. For walkers the beautiful Sutherland terrain offers varied degrees of challenge from the more leisurely hillwalking to more stretching mountaineering. A wide range of birdlife attracts the ornithologist and the area has a huge appeal to the naturalist. The rivers within the region appeal to large numbers of sports fishermen.
Is this business home based: Yes
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